Oak Creek Mall sold; businesses will remain

Downtown storefronts to remain in place

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— The Oak Creek Mall has new owners, but it’s not expected to change the status of the two businesses that occupy the Main Street space.

Dale Baker sold the building housing the Mugshot Coffee Shop and Storm Mountain Coffee Roasters on Main Street in Oak Creek to Ira and Cindy Wertenteil on March 17.

Baker said he took a loss on the sale but is happy to have unloaded it.

“When we bought it (in 2004), it seemed like Oak Creek was starting to rev up,” Baker said. “We felt like we got in on the ground level of that. It did surge for a while, but then it fell flat on its face.”

Baker, a Steamboat Springs resident, sold the building for $145,000. Routt County records show that he bought it for $167,500 in 2004.

Tenants have cycled through the building throughout the years, and Baker said there have been six or seven businesses that have left, including office space renters, a theater and, more recently, a children’s arcade and restaurant.

Baker said the water and sewer rates levied by the town of Oak Creek were higher than he wanted to pay, and he has no intention of buying in Oak Creek again.

“I hope to never go to Oak Creek again,” he said. “I’m really, really glad to be out of there.”

Happy tenants

Despite Baker’s concerns, the two remaining, longtime tenants, Jane Sindell, owner of the Mugshot, and Julie Spitzley, owner of Storm Mountain Coffee Roasters, said they are happy with the space and intend to stay there.

Sindell said in December that sales were down and the café was hurting, but on Tuesday she said there are small signs that business is recovering.

“It’s just starting to pick up a little tiny bit,” she said. “I’m feeling a little more optimistic.”

The Mugshot has been in the building the entire time Baker owned it. Sindell took over the business in 2005.

Spitzley said her business has been in the space for four years and that she’s found it a good spot for a wholesale business.

“I think Oak Creek is a fantastic place to do wholesale business,” she said, because there is lower overhead and lower taxes and because wholesale businesses like hers don’t rely on walk-in traffic.

The Wertenteils, who have an Oak Creek address, did not immediately return phone calls on Tuesday, but Sindell and Spitzley said they have heard there will be renovations to the building in the coming months.

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